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Academic Standards

What are Wisconsin Academic Standards?

The Relationship Between Vision, Principles, Process, and Content for Academic Standards

Wisconsin Academic Standards specify what students should know and be able to do in the classroom. They serve as goals for teaching and learning.

Setting high standards enables students, parents, educators, and citizens to know what students should have learned at a given point in time.

In Wisconsin, all state standards serve as a model. Locally elected school boards adopt academic standards in each subject area to best serve their local community.

Why are Academic Standards Important?

We must ensure that all children have equal access to high quality education programs. Clear statements about what students must know and be able to do are essential in making sure our schools offer opportunities to get the knowledge and skills necessary for success beyond the classroom.

What Informs the Implementation of Academic Standards?

Wisconsin’s Guiding Principles for Teaching and Learning inform the design and implementation of all academic standards. All educational initiatives are guided and impacted by attitudes or principles for teaching and learning. 

The Guiding Principles for Teaching and Learning provide the touchstone for practices that affect the vision of every child a graduate prepared for college and career. When made transparent, these principles inform what happens in the classroom, the implementation and evaluation of programs, and remind us of our own beliefs and expectations for students. See our Phase-by-Phase Rollout plan for more details.

Academic Standards Under Review and Revision

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The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction has a transparent and comprehensive process for reviewing and revising academic standards. The process begins with a notice of intent to review an academic area with a public comment period. The State Superintendent’s Standards Review Council examines those comments and recommends whether or not to revise or develop standards in that academic area. The State Superintendent authorizes whether or not to pursue a revision or development process.  Following this, a state writing committee is formed to work on revision or development of those standards for all grade levels. That draft is then made available for open review to get feedback from the public, key stakeholders, educators, and the Legislature with further review by the State Superintendent’s Standards Review Council. The State Superintendent then determines adoption of the standards.

The State Superintendent has started revision of standards in Environmental Education, Social Studies, and Essential Elements Science and review of standards for Theatre and  School Counseling.  Go to the subject pages for more information.

Wisconsin Academic Standards


Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources

Art & Design Education

Business and Information Technology

Computer Science (New)


Early Learning Standards 

English Language Arts

Environmental Education

Family and Consumer Sciences

Health Education

Health Science

Information and Technology Literacy (Revised)

Literacy in All Subjects

Marketing, Management, and Entrepreneurship 


Music Education (Revised)

Nutrition Education

Personal Financial Literacy

Physical Education

School Counseling


Science (Revised)

Social Studies

Technology and Engineering

Theatre Education

World Languages 

Wisconsin Essential Elements: ELA

Wisconsin Essential Elements: Mathematics 

Wisconsin Essential Elements: Science